Spotlight – December 2023

This term we welcomed our new Professor of Poetry: A.E. Stallings. She replaces Alice Oswald in the role, and will hold the position for the next four years. A.E. Stallings' inaugural lecture was on the topic of The Bat Poet: Poetry as Echolocation. She'll be giving a lecture once a term, along with student workshops and other activities. If you missed the lecture this term, you can watch a recording on the University of Oxford podcast site.

We were also delighted to welcome playwright, actor and professor Anna Deavere Smith to the English Faculty as the George Eastman Visiting Professor. Professor Smith held an ‘In Conversation’ event with Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr and two playwrighting workshops with our students, designed to bring short scenes conceived by student playwrights into performance. You can read a review of the workshops on the English Faculty website.

Recent publications by our Faculty members have been nominated for and won awards from major institutions, including Professor Nandini Das’s Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire, which was awarded the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. Professor Diane Purkiss won a Guild of Food Writers Award for her book English Food: A People's History and Professor Emma Smith’s Portable Magic was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize. Dr Ben Higgins won the Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award for Shakespeare’s Syndicate:The First Folio, Its Publishers, and the Early Modern Book Trade.

Professor Marion Turner has curated an exhibition on Chaucer which will run at Bodleian Libraries’ Weston Library until April 2024 – read on to find out more in our Spotlight on Research section.

Coming up next term, we welcome David Baddiel to the English Faculty on 31 January as this year's Visiting Professor of Creative Media. He will be in conversation with Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. Professor Peter Boxall will also give his Inaugural Lecture as Goldsmiths' Chair on 8 February. Later in the year, the Clarendon Lectures will be delivered by Professor Simon Gikandi in April.